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Tom Zengel drives in a run in the third.
Tom Zengel drives in a run in the third.
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No. 29 Tar Heels Edge Deacons, 4-3
Release: 04/12/2014
CHAPEL HILL --- Michael Russell's sacrifice fly scored Adam Pate in the bottom of the seventh, and No. 29 North Carolina held on for a 4-3 win over Wake Forest Saturday night at Boshamer Stadium. Skye Bolt drove in a pair of runs and Reilly Hovis pitched two scoreless innings for his second save of the year as the Tar Heels clinched a second consecutive series win.

Carolina (21-14, 9-8 ACC) got on the board early in support of starter Benton Moss, scoring a run in the first and two in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Russell led off the game with a single, took second on a Wood Myers sacrifice, stole third and finally scored on a Bolt sac fly. The junior shortstop is hitting .333 for the year and leads the team in doubles (12) and stolen bases (9).

Wake Forest (22-15, 10-7 ACC) contributed to both runs in the third as the Demon Deacons committed back-to-back errors to open the inning. After Russell reached on an error by Wake shortstop Conor Keniry, Myers took advantage of a throwing error by second baseman Nate Mondou to put runners on second and third. Bolt would drive in Russell with an RBI groundout before Tom Zengel's run-scoring hit plated Myers.

But the Deacons would rally to tie it with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth off Moss. Mondou's RBI single made it 3-1 in the fourth before an RBI groundout by Charlie Morgan and a double to the gap in right center by Conway pulled Wake even at 3.

Perhaps the key moment of the game came in the top of the seventh, as Wake Forest loaded the bases with one out. Zach Rice (1-2), who entered with two on and walked the first batter he faced, deflected a hot shot up the middle off the bat of Conway right to Russell, who stepped on second and fired to first for an inning-ending double play.

The Tar Heels immediately took advantage and scored the eventual winning run in the bottom of the frame. Adrian Chacon led off the inning and, after falling behind 0-2 to Wake starter John McLeod (5-2), drove a clean double to right. Pate pinch-ran for Chacon and advanced to third on a Tyler Ramirez infield single before the Deacs summoned Parker Dunshee from the bullpen. Russell got behind 0-2 but his fly ball to right was deep enough to score Pate and make it 4-3.

Hovis took over with a runner on in the eighth and got out of a jam thanks to a Wake Forest base-running gaffe. With the tying run on second and one out, Mondou lined out to Bolt in center. Bolt then threw behind Keniry at second for another inning-ending double play.

Hovis walked the leadoff man in the ninth, but the Gastonia, N.C., sophomore struck out the side for his second save of the season to give Carolina a series-clinching win.

Carolina will go for its first ACC sweep of 2014 tomorrow when Zac Gallen takes the mound in the series finale at 1 p.m.

UNC North Carolina Baseball

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